dsc_0002-small.JPGYou’ll be pleased to hear that I’ve entered into my new hobby with a certain amount of enthusiasm this weekend!  On Friday night I decided to open two bottles (featured in the picture on the right): a bottle of Château d’Aiguilhe 2003 and a Clos Floridène 2003.  I thought I’d open two to more readily highlight any differences between them…previously, I’ve only ever opened one bottle of wine at a time and though obviously been able to tell whether I liked them or not, never really recognised any subtle (or, frankly, obvious) differences.  So, two bottles at once it was.  Which, given it was just the two of us at home, drew a raised eyebrow from the wife Michelle…

 

Château d’Aiguilhe is from the Côtes de Castillon appellation contrôlée to the east of St. Émilion.  It was purchased only last week at (if I remember rightly) a shade over 20 euros.  I bought a case of the Clos Floridène, a
Graves from south of Brodeaux, during the October wine fair last year and (again if memory serves) it cost around 11 euros…so roughly speaking, half the price of the Château d’Aiguilhe.  Would it be half the wine, I wondered?
 No, not really, was the answer.  In fact, both were lovely.  The Château d’Aiguilhe clearly edged it for me – it’s a sumptuous, rich, heavier tipple – but the Clos Floridène is undoubtedly a quality wine and, I would venture, extremely good value.  I think another year or so in the bottle will see it develop even more. Both Michelle and I jotted down some tasting notes, which were later added to when Karine – a local friend of Michelle’s – popped round for a swim.  Here’s what we noted (and bear in mind here that none of use are in any way experienced tasters!): Château d’Aiguilhe: deep red in colour, a noseful of red fruit, blackcurrants and cherries, slightly oaked but not overpowering, a bit peppery on the tongue, plenty of body. 

Clos Floridène: lighter colour than the above, blackcurrant on the nose, slight burnt sugar/caramel smell, quite dry, lighter than the above but still good body. What I find tricky about the tasting is digging out the right descriptive words.  Yep, I can smell fruit, but which fruit?  Sure it makes my tongue feel slightly numb, but is that dryness or tannins or something else?  Can I really smell oak?  Should that be tobacco? Still, it was fun trying.  And Karine was very taken with the idea of having regular tastings, so it looks like we might have the beginnings of a local wine club, which would be fun. Friday night, therefore, I regarded as a great success.  And on Saturday I decided to revisit one of the wines that we had drunk over New Year.  More on that to follow…

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